Kukla's Korner

Harmony

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In general, these relationships never end well. At some point, somewhere down the road, there will be a reckoning, and the best one can hope for is that the end comes swiftly and without too much heartache for either side. It is this way for all coaches and all general managers, no matter how deep their friendship. "I've heard that. I don't know it to be true. But I have heard that," Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish acknowledged Saturday. It was a picture-perfect Southern California morning. MacTavish's Oilers are up 1-0 vs. the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in their first conference finals appearance since 1992, so talk of a breakup seems wholly out of place.
continued

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Sweden Wins Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the IIHF,

The impossible dream has come true. With a dazzling attack and air-tight defense, Sweden defeated the Czech Republic 4-0 Sunday night at Riga Arena and became the first nation in history to capture Olympic and IIHF World Championship gold in the same year. A two-goal outburst in the first period was enough to seal the fate of the Czechs.
continued...and note to Wings fans, Kronwall selected MVP...

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Coach Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Sources tell Sportsnet both the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins have an interest in Hall of Famer Denis Savard. Savard's contract with the Chicago Blackhawks is up and it is believed both Guy Carboneau in Montreal and Michel Therien in Pittsburgh see Savard as a highly-qualified first assistant. Savard's probable move has also helped trigger the 'Hawks rumour mill. Former Penguins coach Ed Olczyk was also spotted Friday at the United Center in Chicago raising speculation as to his potential return to coaching.

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Old School- Johnny Bower

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mississauga News,

It's rumoured that the expression "Johnny-come-lately" refers to legendary goaltender Johnny Bower's first appearance with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Toronto Maple Leafs. Most hockey enthusiasts know that Bower is the answer to the trivia question, "Who backstopped the Maple Leafs to their last Stanley Cup?" That was in 1966-67, almost 40 years ago. However, few realize how close the long-time Mississauga resident came to never joining the team in the first place. Now 82, Bower still owns a firm handshake and a warm smile that hides most of the 200 stitches used to heal wounds suffered during an era in which goalies stared down the NHL's top sharpshooters without benefit of a face mask.
continued image picture via Oldtimers Hockey

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Consistent Calls

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Buffalo was concerned about referees swallowing their whistles in the playoffs after enforcing the rules during the regular season, but it didn't happen. Teams combined for 13.8 penalties during the regular season and 13.7 in the first two rounds of the postseason. In 2004, it was 11.1 penalties per game in the postseason. The biggest difference was in overtime. For years, a player needed to commit manslaughter for a minor penalty to be called in OT because the refs didn't want to determine the outcome. They've called 1.6 penalties per game in overtime playoff games this year compared to 0.5 during the regular season and 0.1 in the 2004 postseason.
read on

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Ice Matters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Many NHL fans felt the game Friday night between Edmonton and Anaheim was sluggish and boring. This may explain why... from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The playing surface at the Arrowhead Pond on Friday looked and played like a real pond, mushy in some spots, bumpy in others and altogether inhospitable to swiftly and accurately passing a small rubber disk in a manner that would justify hockey's reputation as the fastest game on ice. "It felt more like an outdoor rink in the springtime when the sun comes out," Mighty Duck right wing Teemu Selanne said Saturday. "The ice wasn't very good at all," center Shawn Horcoff said. "I don't know if they can do something to improve it. The puck was rolling, and sometimes it stopped short. Supervising the ice at every site is the duty of Dan Craig, the NHL's facilities operation manager and the guru who for many years provided the smooth, shining sheets that made Edmonton's home rink every player's favorite Craig said he looked into the chemistry of the water and "tweaked a couple of things" Saturday afternoon. When the puck drops today, he wants the temperature to be 58 or 59 degrees and the humidity at 44%, down a few points from Friday.
more (reg. req.)

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Wings Sign Liv

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings beat writer Ansar Kahn reports-

Goaltender Stefan Liv, a promising prospect a few years ago, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Wings, according to a Swedish newspaper. Wings general manager Ken Holland, in Latvia for the World Championships, told Swedish media that Liv (6-0, 176) will have a chance to earn a spot on the NHL roster in training camp.

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Will Chicago Ever Get It Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

Only one playoff appearance in the last eight seasons. Only 46 victories in their last 164 games. Home attendance that sagged below 7,000 for some games last season, despite the announced crowd counts. Things have continued to get worse for the Blackhawks. And now this. In a vague four-paragraph statement issued Friday, while the Chicago sports world was focused on the Cubs-White Sox series, the Hawks admitted losing one of the few good things they had left. Pat Foley won't be back as their popular play-by-play broadcaster. Just why is being left to the imagination. The Hawks' release said they withdrew a contract offer to Foley "due to recent circumstances.''
continued

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The NHL Needs J.R.

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Broooks of the NY Post,

The NHL not only needs a mouth that roars, it needs to encourage a mouth to roar. Then again, since when has Jeremy Roenick needed encouragement to make a spectacle of himself? That's right. Jeremy Roenick, most often known in this space as, Jere-ME. Roenick, who scored nine goals in 58 games this year with the Kings, is a free agent this summer. NBC and OLN should make him a joint offer that he can't refuse - and the offer should come with the proviso that he is being hired to speak his mind, to present his point of view, not merely regurgitate league propaganda. Roenick is a personality. You never know what he's going to say. He's never particularly cared who he's offended. He's always managed to find a way to bring attention to himself. While I might question whether that's necessarily the best kind of personality for a player, there's no question that's exactly the kind of personality the NHL needs on its telecasts.
more (reg. req.)

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Sharks Ratings For 2nd Round Were Flat

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Mercury News,

The Sharks' move up the food chain of Bay Area sports petered out as the team did. The second-round series against Edmonton averaged a 2.3 TV rating for six games, showing no improvement over the first round against Nashville. (A ratings point represents 24,000 households in the nine-county Bay Area.) First-round ratings were in line with past years. But ratings normally go up with each round, so clearly the team has plenty of post-lockout work left. In the Sharks' defense, they faced a number of other factors, all of which created the perfect storm as Game 6 drew a meager 1.1 rating:
thanks to a a KK reader and fellow blogger for passing this along...

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